Kresge Foundation(krĕs`kē), fund established (1924) by retail chain store owner Sebastian S. Kresge (1867–1966) as a broad-purpose philanthropic institution. The foundation describes its policy as "to favor grants providing for the maintenance, expansion, or perpetuation of existing organizations over grants which look to the establishment or initiating of new organizations or experimental projects." Prior to the middle 1960s the foundation gave most of its support to colleges and universities, hospitals, religious institutions, and child welfare agencies in Michigan and the Northeast. Since then, however, there has been a wider geographic distribution of grants and a decrease in support to religious programs. Most assistance goes to the construction and maintenance of buildings or other major capital equipment. Given an initial endowment of $1.3 million, in 1998 the foundation had assets totaling $2.1 billion.
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